Letting People In, Keeping People Out

Michael Wilcock

READ : 1 Chronicles 26:12-18

The tasks of the gatekeepers are not spelled out for us. In what way were they expected to “keep” or “guard” the four gates of the temple? Though Psalm 84:10 might suggest that theirs was rather a menial job, this Chronicles chapter says that they had to be “able” or “capable” men, and even that they needed “strength” for their work (verses 6-8).

A churchwarden in an English parish church still has a wooden staff, nowadays of merely historical interest, but once used to keep unruly worshippers in order! Was David appointing religious “bouncers,” to let the right people in and usher the wrong ones out?

Well, it depends what you mean by “right” and “wrong.” There is such a thing as church discipline. The Lord’s people, now as then, need to have respected leaders who will ensure that the way into the fellowship is always open to the sinner seeking God, and barred to those who try to get in for selfish and unbiblical ends and the making of mischief.

PRAYER

Lord, give our church leaders strength and discernment. Amen.